Just How Bad Are Missouri Drivers? Science Has The Answer
Missouri isn't the only state I've lived in where I've heard that people are lousy drivers. When I lived in Texas, it seemed like no one knew how to drive. And it wasn't much better in Indiana. New research says that Missouri drivers are some of the worst on the roads.
Forbes did a deep dive into figuring out what states are the most dangerous states for drivers. And Missouri ranked fourth on the list. It's more hazardous than Texas, which ranked seventh, and Indiana which was middle of the pack. Illinois ranked 19, Iowa ranked the tenth safest to drive in, and Kansas ranked 39 on the list of most dangerous states to drive a vehicle in, so it's pretty safe too.
Forbes looked at five key metrics to arrive at their numbers. Fatal car accidents per capita by state. The total number of people killed per capita. The percent change in fatalities from 2019-2020. Percentage of accidents due to impaired driving. Percentage of accidents due to speeding.
Using this methodology Missouri ranked as the fourth most dangerous state for drivers, behind Wyoming, South Carolina, and the most dangerous state to drive in, Montana. Missouri was also ranked fourth worst in the nation for speeding fatalities.
When it comes to speeding, speed in a wreck kills. One of the things that were explained to me when I lived in Texas was that they had a higher number of fatal wrecks because many roads in the state have higher speed limits. And when you wreck at a high rate of speed your chances of a severe or fatal injury increase.
One of the similarities I noticed between Texas and Missouri, is that a lot of roads from town to town, like Highway 50, have higher speeds. Obviously, if higher speeds lead to more severe crashes, it makes sense that Missouri is a more dangerous state to drive.
If there was a bright spot on the list, it's that Missouri did not place in the top ten of states with the most impaired driving fatalities. That's encouraging.
The bottom line is you can be in a wreck in any state, at any time. I've witnessed people driving way too fast on the street I live on. As well as on Highway 50. A guy plowed into the back of my car in Indiana because he was more busy looking at his Egg McMuffin after turning into the road from McDonald's than looking at the stoplight ahead.
According to DefensiveDriving.org, here are some tips that might keep you from being in a crash. Stay focused on the road and your driving. Keep an eye on your surroundings and scan ahead. Predict possible risks. Don't tailgate, and don't drive in another vehicle's blind spot. Keep your distance from bad, drunk, and tired drivers. Don't continually change lanes, and use your signals when you do. You can learn more about defensive driving here.